From Pain To Paint: What's Bad For Your Heart Is Good For Your Art


Oh, the twisted pitfalls of heartbreak.

What else besides a cracked heart attains such a wicked ability to reduce an otherwise firework of a person to nothing but a lifeless sack on the floor?

The piercing devastation of unrequited love hits you with a wildly unexpected fist to the face.

It knocks the f*cking wind out of your spirit, and suddenly, you're under the inherent belief that nothing in this cruel, cold world could possibly soothe the shooting shards of pain ripping apart your insides.

No, nothing can really mend the shattered souls of heartbroken girls and boys -- except the creation of ART.

The beauty of finding yourself in acute pain is the incredible array of feelings that come with it.

Ever so suddenly, you find yourself experiencing a colorful myriad of emotions you’ve never felt before.

Pre-heartbreak, you lived your life drifting on autopilot with occasional bouts of mild happiness and fleeting stings of sadness.

Now you’re feeling sensations you can’t even put words to. Yes, they're all intensely painful.

Yes, they’re all agonizingly brutal – however, they are giving you the best possible material, which you can channel into your ART.

When I say art, I don’t just mean splashing paint onto a canvas. I’m talking about anything that is creatively expressive: writing, drawing, acting, singing, playing music, directing, sculpting, busking -- any and all of it.

Don't tell me you're not an artist; no one is an artist until his or her entire life falls apart.

So don’t you fret my lovely, broken-hearted brothers and sisters because what you’re neglecting to realize is you’re actually in the most powerful place of your life. You’re about to tap into your creative PRIME.

Because all the hurt that is penetrating the core of your heart is fan-f*cking-tastic for your ART.

Creativity is born out of darkness.

I thought my first experience with a forsaken heart at the tender age of 17 would serve as the LITERAL (isn’t everything "literal" at 17?) death of me.

It felt as if my ex had been an essential extremity of my body, and one day, I woke up to find myself inexplicably limbless.

As melodramatic as it sounds (and was), like all heartbroken teens and adults alike, I couldn’t stop crying. I served as the very definition of inconsolable.

I lost heaps of weight. My cheeks turned hollow. My skin turned a whiter shade of pale. My hair was dry, and my nails were bitten raw.

My friend suggested I take a stab at “writing" for "cathartic" purposes.

“F*ck no,” was my loving response. After all, wasn’t there a more effective way to stave off the pain, like drugs and booze?

Heartbreak is hell, but heartbreak with a hangover takes you into the deepest crux of the fiery pits of hell -- and lucky for little ol’ me, I figured that out before any real damage was done.

Cut to a lone, sober evening a few weeks after my pathetic 17-year-old stab at a “bender” (I watched a lot of “90120” at an impressionable age), and I figured what the hell. I was a girl with nothing to lose.

So I wrote. And words effortlessly poured out of my pen and onto the tattered sketchbook paper.

It was 4am when I finally stopped writing. It had been 10 hours, and my hands were cramped and aching -- but I felt a tiny beam of relief.

I gazed down at ink-ridden paper, and I couldn’t believe what had come out of me.

I had used sophisticated words I wasn’t conscious I had even known the meaning of. I had creatively structured sentences out of my forlorn heartsickness and manifested something tangible.

A powerful creativity I didn’t know existed within myself had been born out of the darkness of my first ever teenage heartbreak.

Art is visceral.

How often do you find yourself trapped inside your head? In the modern world, people are hyper-connected to their brain, yet so very disconnected from their heart.

All we do all day long is break down the WHYS of every given situation. It’s as if we’ve intellectualized ourselves out of feeling anything at all.

Art, however, is not intellectual. Art is visceral. This is why we crave it so damn much.

Art catapults us out of our heads and tosses us into our hearts. It’s the very reason we subject ourselves to watching devastating movies and listening to epically sad songs over and over again -- because the social media induced numbness of our lives is so daunting we would do just about anything to feel something.

Heartbreak puts us in the most visceral state possible; you can’t reason yourself out of it. You’re acting madly irrational, and you know it, but no amount of analytics can put a stop to it.

This is the best space to be in to create.

Take advantage of how accessible you are to your emotions. Channel them into the creation of the most groundbreaking, bitingly raw art possible.

You don’t give a flying f*ck.

I have a theory: Most people are gifted with the creative gene, they’re just far too self-conscious to explore it. The inner dialogue existing within our brains is a tempestuous battle:

“What if I SUCK?”

“What if I EMBARRASS myself?”

“What if everyone HATES it?”

“What if, what if, WHAT IF?”

One of the most kickass parts of a broken down heart is the empowering case of “f*ck its” that come along with it. Your world has crumbled, so who cares what anyone else thinks?

And, more importantly, who cares if you fail? You’ve already failed at your relationship -- if you can survive that kind of failure, you can withstand just about anything.

Take advantage of feeling this way by tapping into your creative genius.

Worrying about what others think is the great downfall of the artist, and it's not a fight you have to partake in right now.

So get out there quick: Take an improv class, do an open-mic, write a song.

Your "f*ck it" attitude will dissipate faster than you think, and you will be right back to your cowardly, fearful state before you know it.

You are able to take the power back.

Taking something that destroyed you so deeply and turning it into tangible ART is the fastest way to heal.

It makes the pain, the heartache, the sleepless nights, and endless torment -- oh so worth it.

You get to take all of these swelling emotions of bitter unrest and use them to create something that can actually impact people's lives.

We connect with others through our pain, not through our happiness.

Making something out of nothing is a high like nothing else. Don’t numb the pain with drugs because the pills, the powders and the booze will only destroy your creativity and exacerbate the pain. This I know all too well.

Open your eyes, and take a look. Victims of romantic discord all around the world are making a killing off their heartbreak.

Every movie you have ever seen that has moved you, every song you have ever heard that rooted you back to the earth during times of despair, every piece of art you gazed at and felt something deeply profound -- was derived from some form of heartbreak.

Taking the angst and turning it into art is your way to take the power back.